Cambodia

Photo of the Day

A child soldier with a human skull resting on the tip of his rifle.Dei Kraham, Cambodia. 1973. Bettmann/Getty Images

Pol Pot

The Brutal Cambodian Dictator

After a solid 30 years of solemnly pledging “never again,” the world stood by and watched in horror as another 20th-century genocide unfolded ? this time in Cambodia.?As head of the Khmer Rouge, Pol Pot oversaw an unprecedented and extremely brutal attempt to remove Cambodia from the modern world and establish an agrarian utopia. While attempting to create this utopia, Pol Pot created the Cambodian Genocide, which lasted from 1975 to 1979.

Pol Pot conducted a rule of terror that led to the deaths of nearly a quarter of Cambodia’s seven million people, by the most widely accepted estimates, through execution, torture, starvation and disease.

His smiling face and quiet manner belied his brutality. He and his inner circle of revolutionaries adopted a Communism based on Maoism and Stalinism, then carried it to extremes: They and their Khmer Rouge movement tore apart Cambodia in an attempt to ”purify” the country’s agrarian society and turn people into revolutionary worker-peasants.

Beginning on the day in 1975 when his guerrilla army marched silently into the capital, Phnom Penh, Pol Pot emptied the cities, pulled families apart, abolished religion and closed schools. Everyone was ordered to work, even children. The Khmer Rouge outlawed money and closed all markets. Doctors were killed, as were most people with skills and education that threatened the regime.

The Khmer Rouge especially persecuted members of minority ethnic groups — the Chinese, Muslim Chams, Vietnamese and Thais who had lived for generations in the country, and any other foreigners — in an attempt to make one ”pure” Cambodia. Non-Cambodians were forbidden to speak their native languages or to exhibit any ”foreign” traits. The pogrom against the Cham minority was the most devastating, killing more than half of that community.

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So, it’s a travesty stopping refugees under Trump? Have the Democrats forgotten their actions after Vietnam?

Everyone on the left-wing is up in arms about denying refugees from Syria and other wog nations access to the US.

Democrats in particular are especially upset and while John Campbell might wet his panties that some Democrat Attorneys-General are p[osturing over the executive orders perhaps they should cast their minds back to their actions after the Vietnam War.

One old tusker is still around forgetting his own actions back in the day.

While there was recent rebellion against President Trump?s refugee, executive order, there were many liberals in 1975 associated with big-name Democrats against any Vietnam refugees wanting out of South Vietnam as it was absorbed by communists?there were millions! These left wingers were not even open to orphans coming to America.

California Governor Jerry Brown led the anti-refugee outfit that included well-known liberals such as Senator Joe Biden (D-DE), Congresswoman Elizabeth Holtzman (D-NY) and former-presidential ?peace candidate? George McGovern.? Read more »

Mandatory viewing for Len Brown: Auckland’s public transport problems? Solved!

Are there any cats in North Korea Gareth?

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Is Gareth in North Korea because everyone is so hungry they have eaten all the cats?

Having passed successfully through the demilitarised zone Gareth explains to the world?s media why the West?s ?beat-up? view of North Korea is completely wrong.

Gareth and Jo and their group were free to set their own route through North Korea, witnessing at first hand the lives of ordinary North Koreans.

What they found surprised them ? a people who were poor, yes, but wonderfully engaged, well-dressed, fully employed and well informed. In Gareth?s view, what North Korea has achieved economically despite its lack of access to international money has been magnificent.

What a knob. I think it is time we stopped listening to this tool. Now I think I will shamelessly pinch Farrar’s own cut/paste job of other commentators and what thy think about Gareth Fucking Morgan.? Read more »

I was just waving to my parents, Yeah right

David Farrar posts about his first encounter with the ladies in Cambodia.

Do we believe his little story, or not?

One way traffic

Surely he jests?(Paid Content at NBR):

An Auckland immigration consultant expects to see more working holiday schemes after the government signed a deal with the Philippines today.

Philippines president Benigno Aquino was in New Zealand with a number of senior colleagues and a business delegation of 70 people.

Prime Minister John Key and Mr Aquino met to discuss the growing relationship between the two countries and later witnessed the signing of the new agreement.

Under the scheme, 100 Philippines? residents between the ages of 18 and 30 will be granted temporary visas for a year-long stay in New Zealand.

They will be able to take up work but cannot stay with the same employer for more than three months.

Likewise, 100 New Zealanders will be able to travel to the Philippines every year under the same conditions.

I can understand 100 Philippines? residents wanting to come here. Just look at the income figures from there.

The current exchange rate between the Philippines Peso and the New Zealand Dollar ?shows that 1PHP=0.0297.

So the median hourly rate for a nurse in the Philippines is $5.94 and for a highly paid IT Consultant (like Lynn Prentice) they would get $15 per hour. Sheesh even bludgers in New Zealand get more as a base benefit for sitting on their arses.

Our minimum wage laws require people to be paid $13.50 per hour and Labour and the Greens want that increased to $15 per hour which they describe as a “living wage”. Clearly the teeming millions in the Philippines find that a living wage is so much less than what our fat cat politicians believe to be the case.

I’ll lay money on the table right now that there will be one way traffic in this exchange system with the Philippines. They will be coming here but not a single Kiwi will take up the challenge of working for those wage rates in the Philippines.

Personally I’d like to see far more Philippines residents coming here to work, but I wish our politicians would be honest about it.

Instead of a silly limit of 100 people, let’s let in thousands, even at our minimum wage they are earning many time more than they are capable of earning in the Philippines. It is a win, win for the country. We get hordes of willing and capable workers at a better price than our own workforce…and the workers from the Philippines get to earn many thousands more working here than they could ever dream of in the Philippines.

Of course the unions will complain…and the left wing politicians…but then they have just proved to us all that you can easily live on $2.25 per day. Even at Philippine wage rates that is double for just one hours work, should be plenty enough.

Bear in mind also that the Philippines has the highest pay rates in Asia…something that is causing consternation amongst their employers who are struggling to compete with Vietnam, Cambodia and China.

Perhaps DPF could negotiate a better scheme while he is sunning himself in Vietnam and Cambodia?

Angkor Wat

Another video from Humanity.TV

The Mysterious Angkor Wat from Humanity.TV on Vimeo.

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The Hypocrisy of NZ over Fiji, Ctd

On the one hand we have the Prime Minister blithely suggesting that we should continue to freeze out Fiji and on the other hand our Trade Minister talking up a storm about free trade agreements with less than democratic nations, showing once again our strange foreign policy hypocrisy to the world:

Trade Minister Tim Groser yesterday announced that New Zealand was joining an initiative to create a huge free trade region.

If the agreement succeeds it would cover an area with more than three billion people, 43 per cent of the world’s population.

Mr Groser has been in Cambodia this week for trade meetings hosted by Asean, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The countries which have agreed to the initiative are the 10 Asean countries – Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and the Philippines – and six countries with which Asean has existing free trade agreements: China, India, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Let’s look at those countries shall we…since we insist on forcing Fiji to have a system of government like ours, and highlighting civil rights and free press and independent judiciary:

Indonesia: hardly the stand up country when it comes to human and civil rights. They occupied East Timor for more than 25 years, including massive civil rights abuses of the East Timorese population. They continue to fight seperatists in Aceh and have only had one direct presidential election since Suharto’s resignation, which was held in 2004.

Malaysia: Ostensibly a democracy but with ongoing persecution of opposition politicians in partiucular the persecution on trumped up charges of sodomy against Anwar Ibrahim, and a less than free media.Islamic fundamentalism is growing in Malaysia.

Singapore: Is barely a democracy:

The?People’s Action Party?has won every election since self-government in 1959, and governs on the basis of a strong state and prioritising collective welfare over individual rights such as freedom of speech, an approach that has attracted criticism from organisations such as?Freedom House.

That is an amazing string of electoral good luck. Tight government controls exist particularly with regards to freedom of speech and freedom of association:

?In 2011, in the?World Justice Project‘s?Rule of Law Index?Singapore was ranked in the top countries surveyed in “Order and Security”, “Absence of Corruption”, and “Effective Criminal Justice”. However, it scored very low for both “Freedom of Speech” and “Freedom of Assembly”.?All public gatherings of five or more people require police permits, and protests may only be legally held at?Speakers’ Corner.

Brunei: The personal fiefdom of teh Sultan of Brunei, with few if any democratic processes in place. The country has been under martial law since 1962. Despite a lack of democracy the government regularly fetes the Sultan of Brunei and allows him to maintain an extensive property portfolio in Auckland, and travel with freedom in his own jet which is often parked up at Auckland. Media are tightly controled:

The country has been given “Not Free” status by?Freedom House; press criticism of the government and monarchy is rare.[

Myanmar (Burma): A military dictatorship, where the NZ Government is more than happy for SOEs like Kordia to make millions from a government that is rife with human rights abuses and of course actively and violently?suppresses?the opposition.

The United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic?human rights?violations in the country, including?genocide,child labour,?human trafficking?and a lack of?freedom of speech. In recent years the country and its military leadership have made huge concessions to democratic activists and are slowly improving relations with the major powers and the UN.

Thailand: Any government in?Thailand?serves at?the?pleasure of the King. They have had more coups since the formation of the country than any other in the region. Yet New Zealand already has a Free Trade Agreement with them. Since the country was founded in modern times in 1932, ironically by a coup, they have had coups and/or insurrections in 1932, 1933, 1938, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1951, 1957, ?and 1973.

The?history of?Thailand?from 1932 to 1973?was dominated by?military dictatorships?which were in power for much of the period.

The most recent coup was in 2006 when Thaksin Shinwatra was overthrown, and a in 2010 there was a “judicial coup”:

Immediately following what many media described as a “judicial coup”, a senior member of the Armed Forces met with factions of the governing coalition to get their members to join the opposition and the?Democrat Party?was able to form a government, a first for the party since 2001. The leader of the Democrat party, and former leader of the opposition,?Abhisit Vejjajiva?was appointed and sworn-in as the 27th?Prime Minister, together with the new cabinet on 17 December 2008.

In of April 2010, a set of new?protests?by the?Red Shirt?opposition movement resulted in 87 deaths (mostly civilian and some military) and 1,378 injured.?When the army tried to disperse the protesters on 10 April 2010, the army was met with automatic gunfire, grenades, and fire bombs from the opposition faction in the army, known as the “watermelon”. This resulted in the army returning fire with rubber bullets and some live ammunition. During the time of the “red shirt” protests against the government, there have been numerous grenade and bomb attacks against government offices and the homes of government officials. Grenades were fired at protesters, that were protesting against the “red shirts” and for the government, by unknown gunmen killing one pro-government protester, the government stated that the Red Shirts were firing the weapons at civilians.

There is far more of a coup culture in Thailand but we are yet to see travel bans for members of the government, travel warnings or sanctions, instead New Zealand gave them a FTA.

Cambodia: is recovering from?the?legacy of the Khmer Rouge regime and subsequent Vietnamese occupation.

Hun Sen and his government have seen much controversy. Hun Sen was a former Khmer Rouge commander who was originally installed by the Vietnamese and, after the Vietnamese left the country, maintains his?strong man?position by violence and oppression when deemed necessary.?In 1997, fearing the growing power of his co-Prime Minister, Prince Norodom Ranariddh, Hun launched a?coup, using the army to purge Ranariddh and his supporters. Ranariddh was ousted and fled to Paris while other opponents of Hun Sen were arrested, tortured and some summarily executed.

In addition to political oppression, the Cambodian government has been accused of corruption in the sale of vast areas of land to foreign investors resulting in the eviction of thousands of villagers?as well as taking bribes in exchange for grants to exploit Cambodia’s oil wealth and mineral resources.?Cambodia is consistently listed as one of the most corrupt governments in the world.

Laos: A single party communist dictatorship. Their human rights record is appalling. no democracy here, no press freedoms, no indepedent judiciary…but welcome into a Free Trade Agreement while we shun Fiji.

Vietnam: A Single party communist dictatorship controlled by the military. Media freedoms are non existant:

Vietnam’s media sector is regulated by the government in accordance with the 2004 Law on Publication.?It is generally perceived that Vietnam’s media sector is controlled by the government to follow the official communist party line, though some newspapers are relatively outspoken.?The?Voice of Vietnam?is the official state-run national radio broadcasting service, broadcasting internationally via shortwave using rented transmitters in other countries, and providing broadcasts from its website.?Vietnam Television?is the national television broadcasting company.

Since 1997, Vietnam has extensively regulated public?Internet?access, using both legal and technical means. The resulting lockdown is widely referred to as the “Bamboo?Firewall.”?The collaborative project?OpenNet Initiative?classifies Vietnam’s level of online political censorship to be “pervasive”,?while?Reporters without Borders?considers Vietnam to be one of 15 global “internet enemies”.

Philippines: The only real democracy in the countries listed above. Still not without a history of military control at some points and some coup culture.

When you see it all listed there you really wonder why we continue to freeze out Fiji when it appears we are quite prepared to deal with Military Dictatorships, Communist states and corrupt demagogues. It must be interesting to try and justify all that inside MFaT while at the same time running the silly?policies?we have against Fiji.

 

Manifestly Inadequate

Those are the words of a tribunal about the sentencing of a Cambodian death merchant directly?responsible?for the slaughter of thousands in a Khmer Rouge death camp, including the death of Kiwi sailor Kerry Hamill.

The man who ran that ”factory of death” and responsible for at least 12,000 deaths, Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Comrade Duch, is the only person who has been sentenced in the United Nations-backed Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia.

He was found guilty in 2010 and sentenced to 35 years in prison, which was reduced to 30 years to reflect the time he had already spent in detention. Duch appealed that sentence.

After a year of deliberation the Supreme Court Chamber announced yesterday that the sentence was ”manifestly inadequate”, and sentenced him to life.

But there has been little justice for the millions of people who lost their lives, or for their families who live on, not knowing what happened to their loved ones, and having to accept that they will probably never find out.

More than a quarter of Cambodia’s population was killed by The Khmer Rouge lead by Pol Pot. It is a country of young people, still struggling to get back on its feet. the enormity of the problem cannot be underestimated:

…challenges result from a lack of experienced Cambodian lawyers and judges, because the Khmer Rouge targetted for death the most intelligent.

”There’s nothing wrong with their abilities,” Mrs Cartwright says.

”But what we’re talking about is a generation almost below me in terms of age and experience, so they just don’t have that wealth of experience that other countries can draw from.”

At least 1.7 million – perhaps as many as three million – were killed under the rule of Pol Pot, which took control April 17, 1975.

Within days it had cleared out the cities, shut down institutions, police stations, and separated families, sending women and children to one place, and men to another.

Its aim was to create a communist country based on agriculture and in doing so it had to wipe out intellectuals, or anyone who resisted its ideals – about one person in four.

Anyone who had soft hands, spoke a foreign language or wore glasses was killed. Music would blare out of loud speakers at the killing fields, masking the screams of those being tortured, or beaten and hacked to death.

There were 300 killing fields in Cambodia. To this day, bone fragments, teeth and torn pieces of clothing emerge from the surface, constant reminders of what occurred.